Posts Tagged ‘Highbridge’

“Let’s Get Started”: Catholic Charities and Archdiocese Stand Ready to Work With Mayor on Affordable Housing

Monday, May 5th, 2014

photoHis Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York and Catholic Charities Executive Director Msgr. Kevin Sullivan applaud Mayor de Blasio’s just-announced $41 billion, five-borough, 10-year affordable housing plan to serve more than a half- million New Yorkers.

Called the most expansive and ambitious affordable housing agenda of its kind in the nation’s history, this plan to build or preserve 200,000 affordable apartments across all five boroughs was laid out today, May 5, 2014, by Mayor Bill de Blasio at a press conference at College Ave. in the Bronx. Mayor de Blasio pledged that the housing plan would reach New Yorkers ranging from those with very low incomes at the bottom of the economic ladder all the way to those in the middle class facing ever-rising rents in their neighborhoods.

“New York City’s current crisis of housing affordability threatens the basic human right to decent housing,” Cardinal Dolan said when he announced his support of the new housing plan.

“Since the 1960s, the Catholic Church in all boroughs of New York City, through parishes, religious communities, community-based organizations and Catholic Charities, has been at the heart of the development and preservation of affordable housing.

“I applaud the Mayor’s far-reaching 10-year plan to build and preserve 200,000 affordable housing units throughout our city, and the Church in all boroughs of New York City looks forward to continuing to work with NYC and Mayor de Blasio to help achieve this important affordable housing goal.”

The Catholic commitment to affordable housing in New York City is illustrated by over 50 years of experience constructing, preserving and rehabilitating housing for the poor, the low income working families, seniors and persons with special needs.

Through the dedicated long-term commitment of parishes, clergy, religious communities, Catholic Charities and affiliated community based organizations more than 6,000 units of affordable housing for financially strapped families, elderly persons and formerly homeless individuals have been developed in every borough of New York City.

To emphasize this support, Msgr. Sullivan spoke in person at the mayor’s press conference today.

“Housing is a basic human right,” Msgr. Sullivan said. “The dignity of the human person – made in the image of God – is threatened when an individual or family does not have adequate housing.”

Msgr. Sullivan provided examples of the Church’s past, present and future commitment to affordable housing. They include Highbridge where for the past three decades Msgr. Sakano and Jorge Battista have rebuilt a neighborhood with almost 2000 units of housing. They include over 4000 units of affordable housing for seniors, families, the formerly homeless and persons with AIDS/HIV built under the leadership of Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens including Bishop DiMarzio, Robert Siebel and John Tynan. And they include 3000 units of housing built and preserved by religious communities such as the Ursalines and Dominicans and the Sisters of Charity, Church-related community organizations and leadership of Msgr. Jenik, particularly in West Farms and Bedford Park.

“Less than a mile to the east on the Franklin Avenue Hill there is property that has been St. Augustine parish’s sacred worship space spanning three centuries,” Msgr. Sullivan added. “That worship community, though still vibrant, has become smaller and now worships in a neighboring parish church.

“That Church building was razed to prepare the site for affordable housing. It stands ready to be part of this initiative. This site will remain a sacred space because on it individuals and families will have a decent place to live, fulfill their potential and raise their families. Here human dignity will be honored and this space held sacred (by creating affordable housing for non-Catholics and Catholics alike.)

“Mr. Mayor, thank you for this initiative. Let’s get started.”

A Muslim-Catholic Social Service Partnership

Monday, February 27th, 2012

Cross-cultural awareness and sensitivity is profoundly important in diverse communities such as New York – especially when it comes to issues of faith. Ensuring positive interfaith relations on institutional and interpersonal levels can result in a more positive, charitable community for all. In this series of blog posts, Catholic Charities explores the many dimensions of interfaith relations and the ways in which social services organizations can take a leadership role in this area.

By Richard Bertin

While we might traditionally associate February with Black History Month, Valentine’s Day, and the honoring of past presidents, religious traditions are also central to this time of year. On Feb 3, many Muslims celebrated Mawlid-al-Nabi, the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday, while during the middle of the month Catholics began the Lenten season with Ash Wednesday.

Catholic Charities New York, presented 2,500 pounds of food to the Muslim Women’s Institute Community Food Pantry at Highbridge, in the Bronx earlier this month

We all know how important it is to learn about the past and celebrate the diverse cultural groups that contribute to our community – which of course includes religion. Never before have people worldwide been more connected to each other as they are today and yet there is still a pressing need for different cultures to understand each other, particularly in the politically polarizing realm of religion.

This past month, a partnership between Catholic Charities and the Interfaith Center of New York (ICNY) took action on this very issue.

After the success of the Archdiocesan-wide Feeding Our Neighbors campaign, which collected enough food and funds to supply 575,000 meals to replenish local food pantries, 2,500 lbs of that bounty were donated to the Muslim Women’s Institute Community Food Pantry at in the Bronx.

Thanks to the support of the GHR Foundation and ICNY, Catholic Charities has formed interfaith partnerships with Muslim food pantries that are also suffering from food shortages and decline in public funding. By joining together to reach a common goal of helping neighbors in need – despite cultural and religious differences – more food is available to all New Yorkers.

Did you know?

  • Only 20% of the world’s Muslim population lives in the Middle East. (60% are found in Asia)
  • Calling a person or group “Islamic” is inaccurate.  To describe someone who follows Islam, it is better to use the term “Muslim.” The word “Islamic” is an adjective used to describe objects or ideas that connect to ideals of Islam, such as “Islamic art.”
  • China has more Muslims than Syria. (One-fifth of the world’s Muslim population lives in countries where Islam is not the religious majority.
  • “Arab” is not a racial or religious classification; it’s an ethnic classification. (There are 22 Arab nations)
  • 63% of Arab Americans are Christian. (24% are Muslim)